Tampa's Eddie V's deaf chef wins national award

Charleston Wallace is loved by everyone at Eddie V's seafood restaurant in Tampa.

And he can cook.

"The bananas foster? He had his hands in that," said managing partner Stephen Hickey.

He's enthusiastic, fun-loving and deaf.

"He was born that way. He doesn't look at it as a disability. Nor should we," said executive chefBrad Albers.

Wallace was nominated by his co-workers for a national award given to the top culinarian in the Eddie V's company. No surprise to his peers, he won.

"It is huge," said Eddie V's sales manger Kimberly Kraimer. "It's a huge honor. We're so proud of Wallace."

On Saturday, Wallace and his twin brother, Charles, who can hear, sat at a table in the empty Eddie V's dining room and signed back and forth to each other with Wallace's trophy in the middle of the table.

Both brothers wore smiles and Wallace also wore something new – a hearing aid, paid for by the $10,000 prize money that went along with the award.

"It helps me hear better," said Wallace, through signs.

Better than ever before.

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